[WATCH] Storm Eleanor blasts across Europe

Heavy winds gust across European countries, causing at least three deaths and widespread destruction 

 

Storm Eleanor sweeps across Western Europe, causing three deaths and widespread destruction.

Tens of thousands of people have been affected by power cuts, and air travel has been disrupted.

A family brave strong winds as waves crash in New Brighton Promenade (Photo: The Guardian)
A family brave strong winds as waves crash in New Brighton Promenade (Photo: The Guardian)

Two people drowned on Spain's northern Basque coast after being swept away by a huge wave. A skier was also killed by a falling tree in the French Alps.

At least four people have been injured by fallen threes in the UK. Two people were airlifted to hospital in Christchurch, Hampshire, when a tree hit their car.

A body was recovered from the sea at Seaford in Sussex, but it is unclear if the death was storm related.

A destroyed roof lies in a street in Stuttgart, south-western Germany, after the storm (Photo: BBC)
A destroyed roof lies in a street in Stuttgart, south-western Germany, after the storm (Photo: BBC)

For the first time, the Dutch authorities shut all five of its major sea barriers, reopening two later on.

The UK Met Office recorded gusts reaching 161km/h, as thousands of homes were without power.

England, Scotland, and Wales currently have 27 floor warnings and a further 136 flood alerts in place.

Ireland’s taoiseach Leo Varadkar called a meeting of Ireland’s national emergency committee, after the storm left 55,000 homes without power.

 Gusts of more than 110km/h  were recorded at Amsterdam airport where hundreds of flights were cancelled.

Winds of up to 147km/h were recorded in France. Fifteen people were injured in incidents across the country, four seriously.

About 225,000 homes across France were without electricity, while "particularly intense" flooding was expected on the Atlantic coasts.

In Paris, the Eiffel Tower was closed because of the strong winds. Parks were also closed because of worries over falling tree branches.

A lorry overturned on a road in Switzerland
A lorry overturned on a road in Switzerland

In Switzerland, strong wind blew a train carriage off its tracks, injuring eight people. Some 14,000 homes in the country were left without power and record wind gusts of 195km/h were recorded near the city of Lucerne.

Flights were also disrupted at Frankfurt's airport in Germany, where the storm has been baptised Burglind, and at Zurich airport, as Swiss officials urged hikers to avoid forest walks.

The high winds left several people stranded in a ski lift in St Gallen canton, overturned a light airplane in Stans and snapped the 13m high Christmas tree in the capital Bern, Reuters reported.

The storm has also swept over parts of Germany and Austria, where about 20 skiers had to be rescued from cable car in Kitzbühel after a gust dislodged an empty car from its mooring, local media said.

Belgium was put on "orange" alert, the third of four warning levels, with officials urging people to be cautious when going out because of falling tree branches and other flying objects.

Most ski resorts in the Swiss and northern French Alps, where gusts reached 250 kph at Les Arcs resort.

"You're better off staying in front of the fire today," said David Ponson, a ski official in Savoie.

Eleanor is the fourth major storm to hit Europe since December.

 

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